P.V. Sindhu accorded grand welcome on arrival

Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu was accorded a grand welcome in Hyderabad on Monday.

Schoolchildren cheer for P.V. Sindhu during the felicitation ceremony at Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo:Nagara Gopal

Amid scenes of jubilation and loud cheers, Sindhu, accompanied by coach Pullela Gopichand, was greeted by her parents — P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya.

“This is an unforgettable day. We take this opportunity to once again thank Gopi and his support staff and the millions of Indians who were praying for her success,” Mr. Ramana said.

She also waved to the cheering crowd from an open-top vehicle as the procession began from the airport towards Gachibowli stadium, where the Telangana government has organised a gala felicitation ceremony for the ace shuttler.

The images of Sindhu kissing the priceless possession – the silver – and a smiling Gopichand atop the vehicle with the tri-colour flag in the backdrop provided the perfect reminder of the magnitude and value of the whole show.

Telangana Ministers Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Mahender Reddy and Srinivas Yadav and senior Congress leader V. Hanumanth Rao, Andhra Pradesh Ministers Devineni Uma, Chinarajappa were among those who welcomed Sindhu.

Olympic Association of Telangana president Prof. K. Ranga Rao presented a bouquet to the Rio star performer.

The Telangana government has announced a Rs. 5 crore cash reward for the 21-year-old, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli and a government job.

The government has also announced a cash prize of Rs. 1 crore for Sindhu’s coach Gopichand.